In fact, the Palais de la Porte Doree was classified as one of the historical monuments in Paris back in 1987 and even though there has been much renovation and change, you can still discover the fabulous frescos and much more, plus the Aquarium Tropical has always remained. And now there is also a new museum in Paris that has been installed called the Cite Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration, so there is even more to discover while you are on holiday in Paris.
Yet, as with most places, maintenance, improvements and renovations do have to be conducted over the years and the Tropical Aquarium was assigned to the Ministry of Culture back in 1960 and was fully refurbished in 1968, yet still in keeping with the history of this tourist attraction in Paris.
The Palais de la Porte Doree - l’Aquarium Tropical was renovated again in 1985 and improved the facilities greatly, along with revising the acquisition policy through to different aspects such as water quality, the educational aspects and supporting an exchange programme for different aquariums.
About the Palais de la Porte Doree - Aquarium Tropical
This tropical aquarium in Paris consists of around 5000 creatures and 300 species, but when we say approximately, this is due to the ever changing figures depending upon the reproductions, mortalities, exchanges, purchases and donations.
Yet each of the areas has a designated theme, and therefore the tanks are grouped in such a way for you to get the most out of your visit and be able to understand more about the different types of aquatic life, that most of us will never to get to experience in its natural environment.
When you enter this tropical aquarium, the first section you will discover is known as the Primitives, which all relates to the primitive species of fish that have remained almost unchanged in millions of years such as the African Lungfish that come from Africa and South America.
The next section invites you to discover Cichlids, and with around 600 species these are present in quite a few sections of the Palais de la Porte Doree - Aquarium Tropical, and just like the Discus from South America, they have one of the most advanced methods of reproduction.
Then it is on to the Invertebrates section where you can discover cuttlefish, squid, clownfish, corals, anemones, etc from the Pacific Ocean and learn about the association between them. And following on from this, you will find the freshwater breeding tanks.
Next on the agenda are fish that have lived in total darkness for generations such as the hatchet fish, where they have lost their pigmentation, and then you follow on to the Electric Fish section with species such as the electric eel, and in fact these species of fish can be utilised to check water conditions and composition.
The next section at this tropical aquarium in Paris is where you can discover fish from Asia, and some of these can grow to a very large size, although, you will not see any extremely massive fish here, as they are sent to other aquariums that have larger tanks to deal with their wellbeing.
We did mentioned before that this can be a place to learn more about marine life and the next section called Nutrition most definitely provides this, as you will be able to discover how many different types of fish feed, whether it be out of the water or along the bottom.
The next section allows you to discover some of the truly remarkable colours of tropical fish such as parrotfish and reef fish, yet here you can also see some of the highly poisonous and dangerous fish that inflict pain or even death through toxins such as the scorpionfish, the pufferfish, surgeonfish or the balloonfish. But it here you can also discover sharks and rays, as well.
Following on you then discover African fish such as the catfish and crystal fish, which then leads you to the theme of South America with numerous species, but with one name most will recognise, which is the Piranha.
And last but not least, the final area of the permanent exhibitions you can discover at the tropical Aquarium is dedicated to Aligators, and the alligator pit is considered to be one of the best in Europe with its decor representing an African landscape. But from time to time there are also temporary exhibitions held at the tropical aquarium you can visit as well.
Access to the Palais de la Porte Doree - Aquarium Tropical
This tropical aquarium is open on a Tuesday through to a Friday from 10am to 5.30pm, whereas on a Saturday and Sunday it is open from 10am through to 7pm, but we would like to point out that it is always closed on a Monday and on national French holidays such as 1st May, plus last entry is 45 minutes before closing time.
The normal cost of entry as of 2013 is €5 per person and a reduced rate of €3.50 for children under the age of 18, however this is increased to €7 per person and a reduced rate of €5.50 if there are temporary exhibitions as well.
Yet you can also purchase a combined ticket for one adult and one child for €7 or €9 during temporary exhibitions or a family ticket for two adults and two children under the age of 18 for a cost of only €11 for the permanent aquarium displays, or €16 when there is an exhibition on.
You will also find that some of the Palais de la Porte Doree has free access, for instance to some of the historical areas like the old ballroom, however, you can also purchase a combination ticket to discover the Musee Cite Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration museum as well as the Aquarium Tropical. And depending upon what exhibitions are taking place at the time, this can range in price from around €8 up to €10 as of 2013.
When it comes to getting to this impressive tourist attraction in Paris, you will find that it is situated in the 12th Arrondissement close to the Bercy area, with its shopping village, museums and Bercy Park, so this means that there is a good public transport network in Paris to access the Palais de la Porte Doree.
So, the nearest metro station is called the Porte Doree stop via line 8 or alternatively you could travel by the bus numbered 46.
Attractions at the Palais de la Porte Doree
- Palais de la Porte Doree Museum and Monument in Paris
- Musee Cite Nationale de l’Histoire de l’Immigration Museum
Address and Contact Details
Palais de la Porte Dorée,
293 Avenue Daumesnil
Ile de France
Tel: +33 (0) 1 53 59 58 60
Tourist attractions close by
- Cirque Phenix
- Bercy Village
- Parc de Bercy
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Palais de la Porte Doree Tropical Aquarium
The Tropical Aquarium is located within the Palais de la Porte Doree and was first opened in 1931, yet even today within the unique and historical building, it is a fascinating journey into the colourful and mysterious underwater world.
A bit of history..
The Palais de la Porte Doree was constructed for the Colonial International Exhibition in Paris in 1931 and the Tropical Aquarium was also installed at this time in order to provide the public with an opportunity of discovering aquatic wildlife from the different colonies.
Originally there was also a museum dedicated to the colonies and the aquarium followed the same route as the theme of this building, when for instance there became a museum of France overseas and then a few years later there was the Museum of Arts of Africa and Oceania that eventually got transferred to the Musee Quai Branly in 2006.